Report: Backups were beating starters, talking trash when James Harden threw ball at teammate

Rockets star James Harden
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Jimmy Butler, trying to force a trade, famously led the third-stringers over the starters at a 2018 Timberwolves practice.

James Harden, who wants the Rockets to trade him, seemingly followed the practice-intensity precedent. He reportedly threw a ball at Houston rookie Jae’Sean Tate during one of multiple arguments in the last week.

Except the context was completely different.

Sam Amick and Kelly Iko of The Athletic:

Sources say the root of Harden’s exchanges was the nature of an intrasquad scrimmage during Monday’s practice. A source says the second unit — which included Tate and backup center DeMarcus Cousins  — were outplaying the starters. According to a source, at one point, Tate scored a tough basket on Harden and let him know about it, which prompted the exchange.

Someone is trying to make Harden look bad – and succeeding.